Responding to the Taliban’s push into Kabul over the weekend, Amnesty International joined Freedom House in calling on President Biden to ensure the safe evacuation of human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, media workers, and individuals who have provided assistance to foreign governments and for the White House to provide a lifeline to millions of internally displaced Afghans and Afghan refugees. The human rights organizations called on the Biden Administration to work with the United Nations to develop a functioning humanitarian infrastructure to assist the people of Afghanistan and to provide justice for victims of human rights abuses. Paul O’Brien, the executive director of Amnesty International USA said:
“The current course of action by the White House has only fanned the flames of this humanitarian catastrophe. Every moment that the Biden administration continues not to course correct could have horrific consequences, exacerbating the already atrocious failures to support the people of Afghanistan, including the Afghans who risked their lives and those of their families to provide assistance to the U.S..”
Amnesty International USA and Freedom House are calling on the Biden administration to:
- provide for the prompt evacuation of Afghan civil society workers, journalists, activists, rights defenders, SIV candidates, and other vulnerable individuals who request it to the United States or to a safe third country pending the adjudication of their applications;
- use every diplomatic avenue available to press Afghanistan’s neighbors to open their borders to refugees;
- work with the United Nations and the international community more broadly to stand up an infrastructure for humanitarian assistance that can address this developing crisis;
- lay the groundwork for genuine accountability by pressing for an unbiased and independent inquiry into abuses committed in Afghanistan by all parties to the conflict.